Inside King's-Edgehill School

Heather Strickey

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Meet Joan Gregson (1945-1950): The "Snapple Tea Spiked" Partying Grandma

Posted by Heather Strickey on Aug 7, 2018 9:41:00 AM

There are people in this world that you hear so much about before you actually meet them. Joan Gregson is one of those people. I had heard so much about Joan leading up to and at the Edgehill 125 Reunion the summer of 2016. Joan made many great friends while at Edgehill. Many of those friendships remain strong today.

The theme for this magazine is the "Arts." Ms. Gregson has definitely pursued a career in this field. As a new girl to Edgehill in 1945, she volunteered to write a script for the New Girls' play. She wrote about a young girl looking at a photo album with her grandmother. Edgehill promoted plays and musicals, and under the aegis of Miss Marshall, a music and language teacher at Edgehill in the 1940s, and Miss O'Neill, Edgehill's Headmistress from 1954-1958, Joan's interest in the theatre grew.

Joan graduated from Edgehill, married, and had children. Her interest in the theatre was dormant. However, one day, her mother persuaded her to see a play at the Theatre Arts Guild (TAG) in Halifax. Joan's immediate reaction upon seeing the production was "I can do better than that!" She let the TAG know of her interest and continued to pester them until she was cast in The King of Hearts, and from there she starred in ingénue roles for several years. Joan made the jump into radio when she joined the cast of the "The Gillan's." She played a myriad of characters including Billy, Mary Ann, Rob Roy, and the country teacher. At that time, CBC Halifax was a major production centre for radio dramas in Canada, and Joan worked for many years in that milieu winning an ACTRA Award for Best Performance in Radio for her portrayal of Mira, a Korean, in "The Path."

Joan became a member of the original company of Neptune Theatre appearing in the opening production of Major Barbara, followed closely by the Fourposter. Over the 31 years she was with Neptune, Joan appeared in such productions as Arms and the Man, Broadway Bound, Dear Liar, Same Time Next Year, Equus, Noises Off and Candida. I asked Joan if she had a favourite actor with whom she worked. She did mention Jamie Farr (Corporal Klinger from M.A.S.H.) who she starred opposite in The Last Romance (pictured on right).

Joan's "big break" came when she was cast to play Mrs. Cheever in the 1995 film adaptation of The Scarlet Letter featuring Demi Moore, Robert Duvall, and Gary Oldman. Joan then moved to Toronto hoping to seize opportunities in TV and film not then available in Nova Scotia. Over the years, she has appeared in several commercials, films and TV series such as Black Harbour, Murdoch Mysteries, My Babysitter's a Vampire, and most recently in Saving Hope, Schitt's Creek, Four in the Morning, Mary Kills People, and Anne of Green Gables.

Joan with Jamie Farr (Corporal Klinger from M.A.S.H.)

King's-Edgehill School Alumni Magazine - Life Connections 2016

Is Joan pondering retirement? "I am busier than I have ever been." Joan has no plan to slow down or retire! I caught a brief glimpse of Joan's work as she portrays a Snapple drinking, partying Grandma (pictured left). If you want to put a smile on your face, check out: https://

I have to say it's pretty cool knowing a real actor. Joan, may you continue to "break a leg."

 If you are a dancer, a singer, a musician, an actor, an artist, or have all of these talents, then King’s-Edgehill School is the place for you.

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This article was originally printed in the Alumni magazine, read more alumni stories here:
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Topics: Arts At KES

A Family Tradition Since 1895 - The Olands

Posted by Heather Strickey on Jul 12, 2018 12:30:00 PM

You can imagine our excitement when we meet a family that has had many generations attend KES. One such family is the Oland family whose rich history with our School extends back to 1895 when John Culverwell Oland, Jr. attended KCS and his sister, Sadie, attended Edgehill. At the outbreak of the Boer War, in 1899, John was one of the first to volunteer for service in South Africa. This respect for the military is a longstanding tradition with the Oland family that continues to this day.

John and Sadie were followed by Bruce Oland in 1928. Bruce served in the Canadian Artillery before and during WWII, and with the Naval Reserve after the war, retiring as Commodore in 1971. Bruce's brother, Don Oland, served in WWII as a CAN- LOAN Officer with the Royal Warwickshire Regiment. He lost his leg just prior to the wars' end. Bruce spent his working life at Keith's and Oland Breweries, retiring as President in 1976. In 2006, Bruce was invested into the Order of Canada in recognition of his contributions to the Canadian Armed Forces, Nova Scotia industry, and to many charitable causes.

Bruce wasn't the only Oland to attend KCS in the 1930s.  His cousin, Ted Canavan, attended from 1931-40. After graduation, Ted enlisted in the army and landed in France six weeks after D- Day. On October 23rd, near the Dutch-Belgium border, Ted's courage and leadership under heavy fire won him the Military Cross. Ted spent six weeks in a POW camp before being liberated on VE Day. After the war, he trained as an engineer and worked for several aerospace companies in Los Angeles. You may recognize Ted's name from our Athletic Centre which is named for the generous gifts that Ted made to our School.

The next Oland generation to attend the School included Bruce's brother Don's children
Jamie Oland (1964-70), Brenda (Oland) Huntley (Edgehill 1971-72); Bruce's twin sister Amadita Stanbury's children Bruce (staff 1964-66), Christopher (1961-64); and Bruce's son, Richard Oland (1974-79).

Richard followed the family tradition of serving his country in the Canadian military commanding HMCS Goose Bay and HMCS Scotian, and retiring as the Regional Advisor Atlantic Region to the Commander Naval Reserve. Richard is current Chair of the Board of Governors, NS Division Canadian Corps of Commissionaires which was founded by his grandfather Colonel Sidney C. Oland in 1937 and later chaired by Bruce Oland. Richard remains engaged with King's-Edgehill School having served on the KES Board of Governors for over 17 years. In a quest to support the School and its students, Richard and his father, Bruce, established the Bruce Oland & Richard Oland Scholarship recognising a Nova Scotian student who demonstrates outstanding leadership and academic potential.

The next generation of Olands to attend the School included two of Richard's children, Keith (2007-10) and Heather (2009-13). Keith graduated from Saint Mary's University with a Commerce Degree and is currently teaching in Asia. Heather attended Dalhousie University and is now in her first year of Medical School at Dalhousie University.

Now, the question must be asked. Can we look forward to a fifth generation of Olands at King's-Edgehill School? We certainly hope so.

Our students – past and present – make King’s-Edgehill School great. We’d love to stay in touch with you, and ensure you stay in touch with each other. Have a look at all the benefits of staying connected here.

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This article was originally printed in the Alumni magazine, read more alumni stories here:

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Topics: KES Alumni

Meet Obe Amos (1996-1998): Builder

Posted by Heather Strickey on Jun 12, 2018 2:24:03 PM

Obe Amos came to King's-Edgehill School part-way through his Grade Eleven year with his twin, Logan, and they graduated in 1998. Obe is an honest kind of guy and revealed that he knew that "school really wasn't my thing." So, upon graduating, he took off for Australia. The plan was to stay for a while; however, his mom was ill and Obe returned eight months after leaving Nova Scotia. Upon his homecoming, Obe went into house construction and eventually found himself buying a home, renovating it and then selling it. Little did he know that this dabbling in renovation would become his focus in the future.

Obe was lured back to the South Shore where he grew up when Obe joined his father, Jeff, and they took over what is now Amos Wood in 2008. "Since 1976, Jeff has been a one-of-a-kind furniture maker, house designer/builder, and commercial retail designer/builder. Obe was brought up in his father's shop and ingested enough wood that it is in his bones. " He definitely has been steeped in what it takes to make beautiful things with wood and has been very busy outside of his career with Amos Wood.

Obe married Michelle, and they have been very busy raising Noah who is 10 and Anabelle who is 8. In fact, when I touched base with Obe in July, we were "facetiming" across countries. He was in New York, supposedly on vacation with his family; however, he was also installing a backsplash in the home where they were staying. Even when he's on vacation, Obe is following his passion of making things more beautiful. I asked Obe two of my famous questions. The first was what do you see in your future? His response was that he sees himself moving into the real estate industry while still working on renovating homes and working with wood. And, second, I asked if he had any advice for our KES students. I taught Obe my first year as a teacher so I was obviously impressed with his answer considering he could be a bit of a "smart aleck" when I taught him. His advice was "Don't fight it. High School is such a short time in your life, work with it and enjoy it. No one is out to get you. Make the most of your time at KES, it will be over quickly." Wise words from this worker in wood.

If you want to learn more about Obe and Amos Wood, please check out:

Alumni Connect

This article was originally printed in the Alumni magazine, read more alumni stories here:
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Topics: KES Alumni

Elizabeth McMichael: Making our world a better place one seed at a time

Posted by Heather Strickey on Oct 24, 2017 10:06:29 AM

My first contact with Elizabeth McMichael (1950-1953) was through email. This lovely "Old Girl" was always one of the first to respond to my Alumni updates. Soon, it felt like I had this amazing friend in Cornwallis Park, NS, but strangely, I had no idea what she looked like! Then, it happened, I finally met the woman behind the messages. We were hosting the Edgehill 125 Reunion this past July and Elizabeth jumped in with both feet. She joined the Planning Committee and was invaluable immediately. Need someone called? Elizabeth would do it. Need piano accompaniment for a song? Elizabeth was on it. (This shouldn't be a surprise. "Betty" won numerous piano competitions while she was at Edgehill.) The more time we spent together, the more I realized what a unique and entertaining "Old Girl" we had in our midst.

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Dr. Adrienne Wood (2001-02): Naturopathic Medicine

Posted by Heather Strickey on Jul 6, 2017 9:43:45 AM

I started at Carleton University studying Biochemistry and graduated with a Bachelor of Medical Sciences from The University of Western Ontario. From there I worked at a private boarding school in Ontario teaching Outdoor Education, then moved to Germany for a year. After this I began my postgraduate degree at the Boucher Institute of Naturopathic Medicine in Vancouver, BC.

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Topics: KES Alumni

Jill Payne: Spiritual Athlete

Posted by Heather Strickey on Jun 28, 2017 8:08:50 AM

It was somewhat surreal sitting down with Jill Payne (1996-2002) this past July. We were two women meeting and having coffee; however, part of me still sees Jill as the teen I taught History and coached in Basketball. Basketball was not the only sport in which Jill excelled. In Jill's Grade 12 year alone, she was awarded the prestigious titles of Scholar/Athlete and Senior Athlete of the Year for her outstanding skills and contribution to Soccer as Captain of the team, to Basketball as Captain of the team, to Track and Field as the Provincial Champion in the Javelin and to Rugby where she scored nearly 100 points herself on her first attempt at this sport. After high school, Jill went to the Canada Games as a paddler and played Rugby at St. FX (where she was named Rookie of the Year). This warrior athlete went on to play Rugby at the National and International levels.

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Topics: KES Alumni

Jillian Murphy (2007-13): Track & Field Runner & Future Nurse

Posted by Heather Strickey on Apr 26, 2017 12:35:00 PM

After graduating from King's-Edgehill School in 2013, the following September I moved to Antigonish to begin studying at Saint Francis Xavier University in the Bachelor of Science in Nursing programme. My first year I lived on campus and joined the Track and Field team. I spent the year studying, socializing and running and met lots of new friends.

Throughout my degree, I have been unsure of what I wanted to do for a career. It has taken a lot of support and encouragement from my friends and family in order to stick with my degree. However in my third year, I had the opportunity to work in obstetrics nursing which I absolutely loved.

I am currently in my fourth and final year of the Bachelor of Science in Nursing. I am still running on the Track and Field team and living off campus. This coming May I will be graduating with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing. After graduation I'm planning to move in with a best friend I made at KES, and I am hoping to find a job nursing in the field of obstetrics.

My advice for KES students is to enjoy your time at the School, go to every event and get together that you can. I made friends in the Junior School who I continue to keep in touch with all over the world and consider life-long friends. The students of King's-Edgehill are lucky to be a part of such a tight-knit community, and I am very thankful for the relationships I made during my time there.

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Topics: KES Alumni

Kathleen Crowell (2009-13): Acupuncturist

Posted by Heather Strickey on Mar 20, 2017 12:50:00 PM

I was a student at KES for six years. Following my graduation from KES I applied to and was accepted as a student in the two year Acupuncture programme at the Canadian College of Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine located in Bedford, Nova Scotia. To obtain the status of an Acupuncturist requires a minimum of two years of study or 2200 hours.

As an acupuncturist, my goal is to help clients restore and maintain good health and prevent future illness. My special interest lies in the area of pain management. I first discovered the field of Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine when I was in my late teens.

I was injured in an automobile accident that caused constant pain and discomfort. Traditional therapies did not restore my ability to function in the manner previous to my accident. I heard, through various sources, about Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine and decided to investigate their therapies. It worked, and still works to help me manage my pain.

Based on the excellent outcomes that I experienced, I wanted to share this wonderful therapy programme with others and decided I wanted a career as a holistic health care provider. Today, as a professional therapist in Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine, I develop and provide pain management programmes to others. Seeing the relief on my client's faces when their illness and pain is relieved, gives me great personal satisfaction.

As an acupuncturist, I do more than poke people with needles. I do therapies such as fire cupping, ear seeding, acupressure, tuina, health counselling, herbs, nutrition and diagnosing in traditional Chinese Medicine. My job involves developing a professional relationship with the client by listening, palpation and assessing their general constitution.

My studies also included traditional Chinese Reflexology. Reflexology is the study of the different pressure points on the feet and hands in relation to other areas of the human body. I am currently enrolled in a Business Administration programme at NSCC and also working in my profession with other like-minded colleagues at Chamomile Wellness Center in West Chezzetcook.

My future plans are to open a spa and wellness center in Nova Scotia. My advice to KES students: find a rewarding career; a field of study that you are passionate about. The world is continually changing. Your first career choice may not be what you may end up doing. Follow your path of interest and the world is waiting for you with all of its challenges and rewards. It is up to you to go and get it!

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Topics: KES Alumni

Jessica (Wilson) Macy 2000-2003: Personal Trainer & Health Coach

Posted by Heather Strickey on Mar 10, 2017 12:39:00 PM

After leaving KES, I attended STFX where I played on the Varsity Rugby Team and won a National Championship. Sports have been my passion for as long as I can remember, so when I discovered there was a degree I could take in University that would focus on exercise and sport I figured that would lead me to a successful future.

After graduating, I followed my parents down to the Sarasota/ Bradenton area of Florida on the Gulf Coast. I learned I am passionate about helping and teaching people so I became a certified personal trainer. I spent almost 9 years at University Park Country Club as the Fitness Manager and Personal Trainer. In addition to overseeing the day to day operations of the Fitness Centre, I also ran the group fitness programme, and designed monthly health challenges for our members. Most of my days were spent helping sedentary individuals become more active, teaching golfers how to activate the proper muscles to gain more yards in their drive, or helping Parkinson's patients improve their strength and balance while delaying their disease progression.

I have been blessed to change people's lives by improving their health and building personal relationships that will last a lifetime. The most important thing I would tell people who are trying to figure out what the want to with their lives is to do what makes them happy. Find your passion, if you love what you do, your job will come easy and your life will be better for it. My husband and I recently decided to do just that and moved to Nashville with our two little boys. No, not to pursue a career in music but to be in a city that makes us happy where we can enjoy the outdoors and be more active. I have started working with a personal training company as an independent contractor and am enjoying growing my business in a new city.

I believe that exercise can save lives and no matter where I am in the world, health and fitness will be a part of me for the rest of my life.

Alumni Connect

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Topics: KES Alumni

Rachel Bedingfield (1994-97): Director of Parks and Recreation

Posted by Heather Strickey on Feb 20, 2017 12:42:00 PM

Rachel Bedingfield (1994-97), Director of Parks and Recreation for the Town of Kentville, was selected by the Canadian Association for the Advancement of Women and Sport and Physical Activity as one of the 25 most influential women for 2015.

Rachel is a co-chair for WomenActive NS (WANS). One of the goals of the organization is to create more opportunities for women and young girls in sports. "We're looking at increasing participation at all levels in girls in physical education and recreational activity," she said. "We want to empower them with the idea of taking on leadership roles across all of those sectors."

"We are also working regularly with provincial sports organizations in the field and helping them to make sure there is fair and equitable access on their boards and more women in coaching and refereeing and leadership roles," she said. "We're just trying to create welcoming environments for women and girls."

Alumni Connect

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Topics: KES Alumni

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